Did you know that stars like our Sun do they also have an atmosphere? Part of its surface structure and the only one visible, including the solar corona among its components, the outermost layer that can only be seen during total solar eclipses. Now thanks to a new tool developed by scientists at the Center for Astrophysics and Technologies Associates (CATA) belonging to the University of Chile and the Diego Portales University, scientists will easily be able to study the atmospheres of other stars in the galaxy.
It’s about a open source program called ARIADNE (“Spectral energy distribution fitter using Bayesian averaging of models”), capable of modeling star atmospheres automatically, a technique that had not been widely used until now in astronomy, but has been heavily used in areas such as the climatology. The technique will not only make it possible to study stars where planetary systems have been discovered, it also has potential for application in areas such as medicine and the social sciences.
The investigation, the results of which were published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, began to be developed in 2019 by José Vines, a Ph.D. student in Astronomy from the University of Chile and the main author of the work, with the collaboration of the astronomer from the Diego Portales University, James Jenkins, who helped refine the interpretation of the results. “This program makes it possible to obtain extremely important stellar parameters such as the star’s temperature, its distance, its size, among others, all with extremely high precision,” explains José Vines.
ARIADNE will also provide in-depth knowledge of details such as the evolution of a star, information that is essential for the study of exoplanets discovered in other solar systems. “With this tool we will be able to carry out a uniform analysis of the stars, especially those where we have already found planets. It could also be useful in theoretical astrophysics, to develop and refine models of star atmospheres”, adds Vines.
The research also concludes that the statistical technique used could have potential use in different areas and industries, such as social sciences or medicine. In the latter case, for example, the model would make it possible to link a health problem, such as infectious outbreaks, with other external variables that can affect its spread, beyond the medical characteristics of a disease that facilitate its transmission. To see the original article published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, check out the following link.